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Movie Classics

Updated on December 6, 2014

Gunga Din


The movie, "Gunga Din," was made in 1939, at the height of Cary Grant's popularity. He had top billing in the film, the locale of which was supposedly India during the British Raj. The story is based on little known facts about the goddess Kali and the crazed, radical adherence of a fast growing group of believers who are committed to killing the infidel British who have controlled their land for several decades. It is also based on the poem, Gunga Din, by British writer Rudyard Kipling, published in 1892,

This movie is particularly interesting today during the ongoing radical jihadist aim to kill all Westerners, particularly Christians and Jews. At any rate, Grant and actors, Douglass Fairbanks, Jr., Victor McLaglen, and Sam Jaffe (Gunga Din), stand against the terrorists and are about to be vindicated by British/Scottish troops singing as they march to the pipes toward where their mates are being held. The true savior is Gunga Din who though mortally wounded climbs a tower to blow retreat. In 1939, faced with the coming of World War II, and the crazed Hitler, the movie was a powerful tool against Nazi fascists and hailed as a great masterpiece.

His Favorite Leading Lady

They made just 3 films together, "The Awful Truth," "My Favorite Wife," and "Penny Serenade." All three films are among my favorite movies of all time. Cary Grant was quoted as saying that Irene Dunn was his favorite leading lady. Asked why, he gave his professional take on her timing for their comedy skits. Although "Penny Serenade" is not a comedy, there are some comical scenes sprinkled throughout the movie.

The Bishop's Wife

Although Grant was immensely popular as a leading man until his retirement in 1962 and had many leading ladies, including Ingrid Bergman, Grace Kelly, Katherine Hepburn, Audrey Hepburn, Myrna Loy, Jean Craine, and others, I'd like to end this essay with one of my very favorites of Cary Grant's movies, "The Bishop's Wife." In this Christmas movie, Grant portrays an angel named Dudley who visits Bishop Henry Brougham (David Niven) who is calling on Heaven to help him in the crisis of trying to build a cathedral over and above the ridiculous demands of the wealthy donor (Gladys Cooper) for the project. The bishop's wife, Julia (Loretta Young) is despairing over her husband's angst and looks upon Dudley as somewhat of a God-send. Dudley has not confided that he is an angel to her, but her husband knows and is irritated by the knowledge. There are good character actors in the movie, such as Monty Woolley, James Gleason, Gladys Cooper, and Elsa Lanchester, all of whom add to the charm of this Christmas favorite.'swife.cast


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